American Boots on Ground in Somalia
Leon Panetta has been brought in to oversee significant cuts to the U.S. Defense budget. Meanwhile, we're in six wars.
Leon Panetta has been brought in to oversee significant cuts to the U.S. Defense budget. Meanwhile, we’re in six wars.
Atlantic Wire (“American Boots Hit the Ground in Somalia After Drone Attacks“):
Somalia is now the sixth country over which the United States is flying attack drones. Last month, the same Special Operations Command unit currently operating in Yemen carried out an attack on two leaders of the Somali militant group al-Shabab in a June 23 mission. The Washington Post reported the attack on Wednesday, and on Friday, Somalia’s defense minister says that American military forces touched down to collect the bodies of the insurgents. Al-Shabab has carried out attacks on the Somali government, and while the government is calling on more American drone missions, they say they were not aware of the first drone attack. “But we are not complaining about that. Absolutely not. We welcome it,” Defense Minister Mohamoud Haji Faqi told the Associated Press. “We understand the U.S.’s need to quickly act on its intelligence on the ground.”
Obviously, the “boots on the ground” bit is somewhat cheeky; some drone attacks followed by an in-and-out recovery mission isn’t exactly Vietnam. Or, hell, Panama. But it’s shocking that we’re in half a dozen kinetic military operations and your average American would be doing well to name three. Something’s not quite democratic about that.
Additionally, as the piece goes on to note, there are some strategic, moral, and philosophical questions about this wide-ranging use of drones, including for missions only tangentially related to America’s national security interests. What’s the desired outcome? Are they doing more harm than good? With killing so divorced from risk, is war too easy?